To boost the Seattle dream of an electric car in every affordable garage, public charging stations being added across city, including one on Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle.gov)

Elon Musk wouldn’t be pleased with the delivery timeline but Capitol Hill is lined up to host one of the city’s 20 planned public electric car chargers hoped to, um, jumpstart the adoption of electric vehicles in Seattle and make the automobiles more accessible.

Seattle City Light is making plans to install 18 more of the DC Fast Chargers for electric vehicles at 10 to 15 curbside and off-street locations across the city one of which will be located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

“We feel that as a public utility we have a responsibility to our ratepayers to invest in and implement solutions that support sustainability,” Jenny Levesque, community outreach manager for Seattle City Light, said at Monday’s Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting. Continue reading

15 things CHS heard at Rep. Jayapal’s Capitol Hill town hall

7th Congressional District Rep. Pramila Jayapal spoke with over 100 constituents Thursday evening at The Summit on Pike as part of her ongoing efforts to get out the vote and boost campaign donations across the nation ahead of the November 6th midterm elections.

The Democrat spent the previous four days in four different states stumping for candidates challenging Republican incumbents including Ohio’s Aftab Pureval, the first Tibetan American running for U.S. Congress, and Kara Eastman in Nebraska. Jayapal was planning next to visit Los Angeles and New Mexico, among other places, to try to help boost chance of a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives following the critical midterm vote.

Jayapal said she was asked if she was exhausted. “I said ‘yeah, maybe, I haven’t really given myself the time to think about it’ because you know what, I will be more exhausted if we don’t flip the house,” Rep. Jayapal said. “So I’m going to do everything I can to flip the house.”

15 Things CHS heard at the ‘Don’t Agonize, Organize’ town hall

  1. Rep. Jayapal does not think of her platform as progressive. “These are centrist ideas in that they serve the center of the country,” she said. “Why should centrist mean serving the top 10 percent?”
  2. When prompted by an attendee, Rep. Jayapal said “I love the idea of a federal jobs guarantee,” referring to the idea pushed by progressives across the nation that every American should be entitled to a job that pays $15 per hour and includes benefits, such as health care and child care. Continue reading

‘Seattle Rainbow Housing’ — Study shows affordability crisis hits LGBTQ seniors even harder

Capitol Hill Housing is planning LGBTQ and senior affordable housing at 14th and Union

A report commissioned by the city’s Office of Housing found that there are several key challenges facing seniors in Seattle’s LGBTQ community, including inadequate services, lack of stable affordable housing, and high rates of discrimination and bias in housing.

“We wanted to understand the LGBTQ senior housing and service needs in the local area, especially given how the cost of housing is increasing,” Karen Fredrisken Goldsen, a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington, said. “Certainly there are concerns regarding the lack of housing affordability and accessibility in Seattle, King County.”

The report, led by Fredrisken Goldsen, found that Seattle “is falling behind other major metropolitan areas in addressing LGBTQ housing and senior needs.” Meanwhile, cities like San Francisco, California have invested millions of dollars to address the needs of LGBTQ older adults.

“With LGBT older adults, if they lose housing, it’s often difficult for them to secure new housing,” Fredrisken Goldsen said. Continue reading

On night of community meeting to discuss gun violence, East Precinct investigates another drive-by shooting

The East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) gathered for its monthly meeting Thursday to discuss an ongoing wave of shootings and gang activity in the neighborhood and Seattle Police and City Hall’s response to quell the violence.

A recent period of quiet following the shooting death of a man on 25th Ave S earlier this month was busted in the hours before Thursday night’s meeting breaking a string of 17 days without a shots fired incident in the Central District or on Capitol Hill. In the AutoZone parking lot at 23rd and Jackson, two groups in cars exchanged gunfire and witnesses reported people running in opposite directions in an incident reported just before 5 PM, according to Sergeant Andrew Zwaschka, a member of SPD’s gang unit who spoke at the EastPAC meeting.

“We want to put shooters in prison,” Sgt. Zwaschka said. “It takes a lot of time. It’s hard to stand up here and ask for patience when you’re laying in your bed at night and you hear gunfire outside of your window.” Continue reading

‘Coffee with Kshama Sawant’ — District 3 representative holds rare community meeting

(Image: @cmkshama)

Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant met with a standing room only crowd of constituents to discuss issues ranging from affordable housing and gentrification to low internet speeds and privacy at Squirrel Chops, a coffeeshop in Seattle’s Central District, Saturday morning.

“There’s a lot of issues facing us as a district with skyrocketing rents and hypergentrification and we’ve certainly seen the increase in gun violence,” Squirrel Chops co-owner Shirley Henderson said while introducing council member Sawant. “A lot of that is tied to our economic reality and the shifts that are happening.”

Sawant, who came with her husband and dog, opened the event by highlighting her struggles for $15 per hour minimum wage and Friday’s King County Superior Court ruling that upheld a Seattle law that capped move-in fees for renters. She also noted the broad struggles ahead in terms of achieving economic equality and racial justice.

“We are all getting screwed together,” Sawant said. “Ultimately, whether you’re talking about city politics or state level, we’re going to have to build movements to win any of these things.” Continue reading

50 years ago, the Seattle Freeway Revolt kept the Central District from being ripped apart

Seattle ARCH (Activists Remembered, Celebrated, and Honored) has plans for a “Ramps to Nowhere” memorial (Image: Seattle ARCH)

(Image: Seattle ARCH)

Priscilla Arsove remembers sitting in her family’s living room as her father called hundreds of volunteers and city officials throughout the evening on their house’s single landline telephone to stop freeway projects that he saw as troubling throughout Seattle. Now, she’s working to maintain that legacy as the work of her father and hundreds of others celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

On Sunday September 23, a 50th anniversary celebration of their work will be held at the Central Area Senior Center.

Maynard Arsove was pushed to action by the construction of I-5 which effectively separated Capitol Hill and First Hill from downtown.

The “Freeway Revolt” began in 1960 when voters approved the Bay Freeway, which was set to be a link between I-5 and Seattle Center, and bonds to fund the R.H. Thomson Expressway, a 15-mile roadway that would have stretched from Duwamish to Bothell, thus setting in motion the creation of a transportation system that would have a greater freeway density than Los Angeles.

The R.H. Thomson Expressway would have destroyed up to 3,000 homes and displaced as many as 8,000 people. The Bay Freeway would have walled off South Lake Union from the rest of the city. These possibilities fostered a public outcry that resulted in a public outcry from affected residents which saw the citizens suing the city two years later. Widely-attended public hearings on the future of transportation in Seattle ensued before Citizens Against the RH Thomson (CARHT) and Citizens Against Freeways (CAF) formed in 1968.

“An arrogant disregard for the needs and the interests of the people that lived in the area,” Anna Rudd, a former anti-freeway activist, said of the city’s plan. Continue reading

‘Keep public land in public hands for public good’ — Seattle looks for path to use surplus city land for affordable housing

“The Mercer Megablock”

During Wednesday afternoon’s Seattle City Council finance and neighborhoods committee hearing, the council members and housing advocates will discuss revised policies and procedures for dealing with city-owned surplus land, building on a resolution sponsored by Council member Teresa Mosqueda that allows Seattle City Light “to sell surplus property for affordable housing purposes at a price and on terms and conditions negotiated by City Light, and as approved by the City Council through ordinance authorizing such disposition,” according to the resolution.

“Keep public land in public hands for public good,” Laura Loe Bernstein, founder of Share The Cities, said “This is the bare minimum we should be doing to prevent the next housing crisis.” Continue reading

Forum discusses connections between gentrification and violence on Capitol Hill

The “What’s Gentrification Got To Do With It?: Hate and Violence in Capitol Hill” forum covered “hate, violence, policing and gentrification occurring in Capitol Hill.”

At 12th Avenue Arts Thursday night, the Northwest Network Pink Shield Project hosted a panel discussion on hate violence, policing, and gentrification in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Much of the conversation revolved around the connection between these three topics, including how greater inequality in recent years in Seattle has created a situation that breeds hate violence, whether it be against people of color or the LGBTQIA+ population.

“You have wealth to a certain community increasing, inequality expanding, poverty worsening, homelessness skyrocketing,” Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, a panelist, said. “At the same time, you will see correlated with that, increase in violence, crimes, car break-ins, and house break-ins.” Continue reading

SPD responds to ‘7 in 72 hours’ Central District gun incidents with increased presence, arrests

Following CHS’s report on a spate of gun violence in the Central District. a Seattle Police official said Thursday night the department is making progress quelling the uptick in shootings and has made arrests in connection with some of the recent incidents.

At Seattle University on Thursday, the monthly East Precinct Advisory Council (EastPAC) meeting was attended by a standing-room only crowd as anxious community members hoped to hear about SPD’s plans to stunt the recent spate of shootings in the Central District.

SPD Deputy Chief Marc Garth-Green announced that three arrests have been made in connection with the recent shootings. Continue reading

‘We don’t want to do that’ — Following rare strike in 2015, Seattle Schools, teachers work on new deal

A 2015 picket outside Garfield High during the first Seattle teachers strike in 30 years (Image: CHS)

With just two weeks before students are set to arrive, Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) are still hashing out details of a new contract for the more than 3,200 educators in the district.

“I know that for many of us we are feeling the crunch of time now,” Laura Lehni, an eighth grade social studies teacher at Washington Middle School, said.

While strides have been made on student safety, race and equity concerns, and the size of school nursing staffs, the discussion regarding compensation for educators has moved slowly. Both sides desperately want to avoid the heightened tensions that led to a five-day strike in 2015.

“We don’t want to do that, but we also need a competitive professional wage,” SEA president Phyllis Campano said. Continue reading